If you want to get the most out of your solar panel system, you should follow the best practices for solar panel maintenance. The good news is that solar panel systems require little maintenance even though they remain constantly exposed to the elements. However, that doesn’t mean you should do nothing to protect one of the most significant investments you make in your property.
Here is everything you need to know about solar panel maintenance and cleaning.
Do Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Many residential property owners have rooftop solar systems on angled roofs. Because of the roof’s slope, the rain will usually wash away any leaves, twigs, dirt, or other organic materials that accumulate on the panels.
However, solar panels in locations with less-than-average rainfall or plenty of dust, smog, or dirt may have self-cleaning difficulties. As a result, they may generate less power. Hiring a professional solar panel company to remove organic materials and smog residue from your rooftop solar panels is the best way to restore your system’s energy output.
Rooftop Solar Panel Cleaning Tips
It is ideal to hire professionals to maintain your solar panels for safety purposes. However, if you were to clean the system yourself, there is a proper way.
Unlike cleaning other surfaces around your home, you should not use abrasive materials on solar panels, including abrasive sponges and soap. You also don’t want to use harsh cleansers on them. These materials can scratch the glass, so soft rags and biodegradable soaps are better options.
Because solar panels are usually on rooftops, consider using a long-handled wiper to clean the panels while you remain safe on the ground. If you have to climb onto the roof, use a safety harness for support.
The Solar Panel Maintenance Process
Despite the benefits of cleaning solar panels, they generally don’t require much maintenance. Even slightly dirty, the cells can still produce solar energy. However, excessive dirt, leaves, and other debris can collect on your roof and panels, affecting your power output over time.
Cleaning will address debris accumulation. Other solar panel maintenance includes annual inspections. A solar panel professional will closely examine your system to ensure that all components are fully functional. If you suspect your solar system has a defect or malfunction, you could schedule a maintenance service at any time.
Signs You Need Solar Panel Maintenance
Your solar system likely won’t need a lot of maintenance beyond routine solar cell inspections and cleanings. However, solar technologies are not infallible, so problems could arise that would require maintenance sooner than expected.
Any time a solar panel system has damage, a malfunction, or needs cleaning, it will affect its energy output statistics. For instance, you could notice a reduction in your property’s energy output because the panels are not generating as much power as they once did. In that case, you might have higher-than-normal electric bills.
Regularly monitor your electric bills and system software to identify changes in energy output. It would be good to request a service appointment to diagnose and remedy the issue and prevent your utility bill from increasing.
The Costs of Solar Panel Maintenance
The costs of keeping solar panels cleaned and maintained are generally low. Most solar system owners keep their panels on their roofs, so they hire professionals to inspect and clean the system each year. Solar panel maintenance experts have the tools and know-how to navigate a roof to perform thorough inspections and cleanings safely. Because of this, many people find professional assistance worth the price.
On average, annual solar system maintenance costs are about $450. It costs about $150 for the inspection and $150 for every cleaning, which we recommend you do twice a year. If your panels have damage or require more frequent cleanings due to placement and the quick accumulation of debris, you might have to pay more per year for maintenance.
It’s also possible to pay less than the average amount for routine solar panel maintenance. Some solar providers offer new owners plans that include a predetermined number of maintenance visits or service plans that provide annual maintenance and cleaning.
What to Know About Warranties on Solar Technologies
Solar panel makers often include warranties with their systems. The warranties guarantee the system will produce solar energy for a specific number of years, sometimes up to 25 years. Should the panels sustain damage due to situations outside of your control, like hail damage or a fallen tree limb, the warranties could cover the repair.
Sometimes, panels come with quality warranties that protect the owner against defective solar cells and other components for the first few years of ownership. Warranties for solar panels may also include details about power outputs, which means the manufacturer could guarantee the panel performance won’t drop below a certain percent for the warranty’s term. Additional warranties may cover high outputs for a shorter period.
With so many possible guarantees, you might not have many out-of-pocket expenses for solar panel maintenance. However, manufacturers may include stipulations with warranties that require the solar systems to be adequately cleaned and maintained for the coverage to be valid.
Choose Solar Power with Blue Sky Electric
Now that you know all about solar power maintenance, you can free your home or commercial property from dependence on the local electrical grid by investing in solar panel installation with Blue Sky Electric. Our fully licensed, insured, and bonded company includes skilled technicians who can facilitate the installation of solar panels from beginning to end for residents throughout Oklahoma City, OK.
Not only can we install high-quality solar systems, but our team can also install backup generators for your panels and upgrade your property’s lighting system to make the building more environmentally friendly. Contact us today for more details on our solar installation services.